Personality Disorders - Clinical Psychology

Personality Disorders

From the standpoint of the psychology of relations, the personality is a system, the totality of relations to the surrounding, primarily the social, and to oneself.

By personality disorders in international classifications we mean pronounced and persistent violations of character and behavior that hinder social adaptation.

The basis of personality is character. To a large extent, it is determined by hereditary predispositions, but it is finally formed under the influence of upbringing, and can be distorted under adverse effects of various factors - from chronic mental trauma to organic brain damage.

The premorbid personality type implies its main features, the type of character before the mental disorder occurred.

One of the most well-known and developed systematics of personality types is the classification of "accented personalities" the German psychiatrist K. Leonhard. These types are based on character accentuations.

Accentuated persons (in contrast to psychopathies, personality disorders) are extreme forms of the norm.

The following main types of accentuated personalities and character accentuations (according to K. Leonhard and AE Lichko) are described: hypertensive type, cycloid or affective-labile type, emotionally labile (emotive, affective-exalted), sensitive (tripod, fearful) type, psychasthenic (pedantic) type, schizoid (introverted) type, epileptoid (explosive, excitable) type, hysteroid (demonstrative, gystric) type, unstable type, conformal type.

Mixed types are very common.

The pathological development of a person is manifested by increasing changes in a certain type due to mental trauma, addressing the "least resistance" place " this type of character accentuation. In extreme cases, personality changes under such developments can reach a level of psychosis, when the ability to give an account of their actions and to manage them is lost.

Personal defects arise as a consequence of severe mental illness or organic brain damage. The changes that occur are stable. There are several types of personal defects: schizophrenic, epileptic, organic, etc.

Psychopathy - Anomalies of character that determine the psychic appearance, imposing an imperious imprint on the entire emotional storehouse, during life are not subjected to any drastic changes and prevent to adapt to the environment. These signs OV Kerbikov laid in the basis of the diagnostic criteria of psychopathy:

- the totality of pathological traits (always and everywhere);

- the stability of pathological traits (lasting a lifetime);

- social disadaptation, caused precisely by pathological features of character, and not by the influence of an unfavorable environment.

Compensation - temporary alleviation of psychopathic features by changing the "microenvironment" (family, work) to a place where these characteristics do not interfere with the best way to adapt. Less often, compensation is provided through the active development of mechanisms of psychological defense, a way of life, a manner of behavior, sometimes contrasting to psychopathic traits and obscuring these traits. However, in infants, these mechanisms are inadequate and the true psychopathic features are again emerging.

Decompensation - the sharpening of psychopathic traits, accompanied usually by behavioral disorders and social maladjustment. Occurs more often under the influence of adverse environmental factors, but usually quite tolerable by healthy individuals. Sometimes decompensation occurs for no apparent reason - due to endogenous mechanisms.

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